‘Stella’ apartments in Rose Bay to rise on a site Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop, used to visit

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An artist’s impression of the Stella apartments and inset, Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop.

Rewind to May 2017 and a smartly dressed lady bidding furiously at the auction of a Federation home in Rose Bay was so enthralled with it that she paid $1 million above the reserve.

The four-bedroom house at 60 Newcastle St called “Hazelbrook” — which was once visited by Australia’s first saint Mary MacKillop — sold for $6 million.

But the bidder, Hilda Cheong of developers the Windesea Group, and most of the other 11 registered parties, weren’t interested in the old house.

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Hilda Cheong of developers the Windesea Group (above) at the auction (below) of ‘Hazelbrook’ at 60 Newcastle St Rose Bay two years ago. Pictures: Stephen Cooper.

It was the potential of the magnificent, level 1000sqm block overlooking Royal Sydney Golf Club that drew the crowd.

Windesea Group, known for quality boutique apartments in the east and lower north shore, also purchased the house on a 797sqm block next door at 58 Newcastle St for $4.9 million.

Now Hazelbrook has been converted into a display suite for “Stella”, the three-level block of 12 luxury units that are set to rise on the combined development site, down from 15 due to demand for bigger apartments.

Artist’s impressions of the kitchen in the Stella apartments (above) and the living area (below).

It began when a downsizer wanted to combine two units to create a mega four-bedroom apartment. He has paid more than $10 million via exclusive agent, Peter Anderson of Christies.

For that price, they get four bedrooms and 385sqm of “seamless internal and external living space” and five car spaces.

“There’s enough room for their Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Maseratis,” Mr Anderson joked.

Stella, designed by Marchese Architects and Pure Interiors, is billed as a seniors (over-55s) housing development offering resort-like living.

Christie’s agent Peter Anderson at the old residence turned sales office for the Stella development (above) and Mr Anderson with the plans for the site (below). Pictures: John Appleyard

It is promising a “whole new meaning of luxury living with bespoke Italian joinery and finishes”.

Stella is expected to be finished at the start of 2021 and is receiving strong interest from local downsizers and international buyers.

The old homes have a date with a bulldozer, probably within the month.

Built in 1908, Hazelbrook’s first owners were the Taylors.

Original Hazelbrook owner Joseph Taylor with most recent vendors Alice Robinson and Andrew Killen (above, picture Stephen Cooper) and an artist’s impression of the facade of ‘Stella” (below).

At the auction, one of the sons, Joseph Taylor, told the Wentworth Courier: “Mary MacKillop used to come and stay with Dad and his first wife.”

But the Taylors had sold the house to the Killen family in 1956 for about 7000 pounds, having done a deal because the original asking price was 8000 pounds.

Two years ago the winning bidder and 11 others had considerably higher budgets and far more ambitious intentions for the site.

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Windesea have also built Pertama, a 10-unit development at 49-51 Fletcher St, Tamarama. They’ve also developed a 62-unit development and restaurant in Gladesville.

Prices at Stella range from $2.8 million to $3.95 million for the two remaining two-bedroom apartments, $3.6 million to $5.1 million for the eight three-bedroom apartments and $4.65 million for a four-bedroom apartment.

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